Focus remains on economy: ED President speaks to deputy Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhao Baogang at a New Year’s reception for members of the diplomatic corps at State House in Harare yesterday

Fidelis Munyoro and Victor Maphosa
Government is keeping the score high on investment interests across key economic sectors owing to its sustained drive to transform the operating environment in the country. This was revealed by President Mnangagwa while addressing diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe at State House yesterday.

He said the strong engagement and re-engagement policy anchored on transactional economic diplomacy was bearing fruit in all the economic spheres.

“Business delegations continue to exchange between our countries, resulting in the upscale of investments across the country’s major economic sectors, especially in mining, agriculture, energy, tourism and infrastructure,” he said.

The President said the country’s system and economy were under restructuring following years under illegal sanctions.

“We are rebuilding an economy that has failed under sanctions for too long. We are rebuilding a new Zimbabwe.”

President Mnangagwa, however, said tough decisions had to be made if the country was to succeed.

He said the 2019 National Budget reflects the Second Republic’s economic ambition to become a middle income economy by 2030.

To achieve this national milestone, President Mnangagwa said his administration would continue to foster an enabling and inclusive economic governance that is anchored on macro-economic stability, financial engagement, social development and the economic empowerment of the entire citizenry.

“Only in unity can we make it through this period of austerity,” he said.

“As many of your own governments will know, tough decisions hurt. But just as tough medicine often has short term side effects; the long term result is to cure the patient.”

The country’s economy, he said, had been “a suffering patient” for too long, but it was now time to “medicate that patient for a permanent cure, even if it hurts!”

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said the ongoing reform measures would continue to be complemented by political reforms.

On the political front, President Mnangagwa said he was pleased with the progress made to fully entrench democratic values and constitutionalism in the country.

“Amongst the milestones we have achieved was the holding of free, fair and peaceful elections on the 30th July, 2018, where our citizenry was able to freely exercise their political choices.”

The President also expressed his delight the country scored a first in the use of the “Biometric Voters Registration System” and “Polling Station Based Voters Roll”

“We have shared our successes and experiences in the use of both the BVR and PSBVR with countries from the region and beyond,” he said.

Going forward, the President said, the Government would further strengthen the electoral processes as guided by the lessons learnt last year.

Dean of Diplomatic Corps in Zimbabwe and Angolan Ambassador Mr Pedro Hendrick Vaal Neto said Zimbabwe’s consolidation of its sovereignty and political independence while at the same time transforming its economy, was a welcome development.

“Zimbabwean people has a level of consciousness and maturity that has enabled them to live in harmony and total security,” he said.

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